Last month, we focused on your candidates; this time, we’re looking at your clients and how your company and your employees interact with them. We’ll be examining how to strengthen or even repair your relationships with clients, how to deliver exceptional client service and how to keep client information organized.

Just as we advised regarding candidates last month, a great way to get a feel for your clients’ experience of your company is to view your procedures through their eyes, especially if they haven’t worked with you before. And the best way to do that is to enlist the help of several friends or networking partners.

You’re probably “too close” to your own processes to see if they make sense to anyone outside the staffing industry. However, your brother-in-law who works for a nonprofit organization or a good friend who consults with hospitals regarding radiology equipment (or whatever) can evaluate your processes with fresh eyes. If possible, try to enlist 3 to 5 professionals with no conflict of interest to serve as a kind of focus group.

First of all, ask your sales reps to approach your “focus group” the way they approach most prospects. Ask the group to let you know if the sales reps use too much jargon, gloss over how staffing works, rely on cliches or catchphrases instead of helping prospects understand how your company can help them.

Then, have each member of your focus group call your offices with a job order. Ask them afterward if they understood what the next steps were, if the process was relatively simple and painless and if it gave them a good impression of your company.

Next, it’s time for your client agreement or contract. Have the focus group read through it and evaluate it, using the usual criteria: ease of use, clarity and creating a positive impression.

Finally, ask your group to review the main forms and paperwork your clients receive when they work with you. Are these materials consistent with the client agreement, and is every printed piece consistent with the verbal content of your sales reps’ and offices’ contacts?

You might receive reassuring feedback, or you might discover areas for improvement. Regardless of the results, simply conducting an audit of your client-facing procedures can help you improve your client experience.

Have we left anything out for the focus group’s job? Let us know in the comments!

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